Arts and Culture for Early Years       May 4 – 24, 2020        

Festival Archive

Artist Workshops

Workshops for Professional Artists or Theatre Performance Students

Silent Performance:  Simplicity, Specificity, and Stillness in Theatre for Early Years Performance
Led by Thomas Morgan Jones, Theatre Direct (Canada)

Friday, May 16, 2:30 -5:30
Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse/Performance Studio

As performers, particularly for early year audiences, it is easy to be seduced by the need to be “interesting”.  For these young audiences, the greatest gift we can give them is our interest, our curiosity, and our wonder.  Rather than being “interesting” we can be “interested”, and through our bodies, minds, and hearts, the young people can share in the experience.

Participants will engage in exercises and creation models that explore silent performance for the actor with a focus on simplicity, specificity, and stillness in performance and creation.  Balancing creative freedom and technical craft, participants will learn physical language to sharpen their storytelling in performance and specific approaches to generating new material.

(see bio below)

Sharing Experiences-Creating Theatre for Very Young Audiences
Led by Michael Lurse, Helios Theatre (Germany)

Friday, May 16th 2:30 -5:30 Tarragon Theatre Rehearsal Hall
Saturday, May 17th, 10:00 – 1:00, Helen Gardiner Theatre

A workshop for theatre artists interested in creating for children under the age of 4.

What kind of theatre do we make for an audience for whom the spoken word holds no real relevance yet, an audience who, perhaps, are visiting a theatre for the first time ever, an audience who are not yet familiar with many social and theatre conventions, an audience who won’t (can’t) tell us what they have felt or understood? Is this a chance to reinvent a theatre created especially for them?

In this workshop, Michael will guide participants as they develop short works through non-verbal improvisation, inspired by everyday objects they bring and the stories they hold within them.

Participants will be asked to bring one of two objects from their daily life, special clothes or maybe their favorite cuddly toy, a book…..or just their hairbrush. A thing they really use or like.

(see bio below)

About Thomas Morgan Jones

Thomas is a Toronto-based director, playwright, dramaturg, instructor, and movement coach.  His productions have received seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards and three nominations, he received the 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Guthrie (Stratford Festival), and has been nominated twice for the John Hirsch Award (2008 & 2011) and for the Pauline McGibbon Award.  He has collaborated with companies including: Theatre Direct, Stratford, Theatre Passe Muraille, Cahoots, Theatre Rusticle, Buddies, Carousel Players, Theatre Jones Roy, The CULTCH, The Charlottetown Festival, Cia Enviezada (Brazil), and many others.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Guelph, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and recently trained with SITI Company in NYC, Madrid, and Paris.

Teaching credits include:  The Stratford Festival Birmingham Conservatory, Theatre Direct, Cahoots, The Paprika Festival, The University of Guelph, The University of Guelph-Humber, The Randolph Academy, The Charlottetown Festival, CBC’s Triple Sensation, as well as hundreds of guest workshops with elementary and secondary schools.  He is currently an artist educator in residence with YPT, and an associate artist with Theatre Direct.

About Michael Lurse

Michael Lurse is one of the founders of the HELIOS Theatre and has assumed the role of artistic director since the theatre’s relocation to Hamm. Since 2005, he has been increasingly dedicating himself into developing theatre for the youngest audiences.

As both performer and lecturer, Michael Lurse has been frequently invited to present his productions and workshops at numerous festivals all throughout the world.  His special focus is working with puppets, objects and materials.Under his auspices, the children’s theatre house has been conceived and established. Since 2002, he has also been shaping the international youth theatre festival “hellwach” (“wide awake”) in the capacity of artistic director.


email  with title of workshop in subject line.
State date of workshop you wish to attend. Include your bio or resumé along with a brief statement as to why you wish to participate. Number of participants limited to 12.